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Chapter 2, § 230: Determining Financial Eligibility

Guide to Judiciary Policy, Vol 7 Defender Services, Part B International Prisoner Transfer Proceedings, Chapter 2: Appointment of Counsel and Guardians Ad Litem

§ 230 Determining Financial Eligibility

(a) An offender is "financially eligible" for the appointment of counsel or a guardian ad litem within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 4109 if his or her net financial resources and income are insufficient to enable the offender to obtain qualified counsel, or to provide for the compensation and travel expenses of a guardian ad litem.

(1) In determining whether such insufficiency exists, consideration must be given to the cost of providing the offender and his or her dependents with the necessities of life.

(2) The determination of eligibility must be made without regard to the financial ability of the offender's family unless the family indicates willingness and financial ability to retain counsel or to provide a guardian ad litem promptly.

(3) Any doubts as to an offender's eligibility must be resolved in his or her favor.

(b) The determination of whether an offender is eligible for appointment of counsel or a guardian ad litem is a function to be performed by the U.S. magistrate judge. Offenders will normally provide information regarding their financial status on Form CJA 23 (Financial Affidavit). Completed forms should be provided to the designated court. Although the court may obtain additional information, whenever practicable, fact-finding should be done prior to the offender's appearance at the consent verification hearing.

(c) For a more detailed explanation of determining financial eligibility under the Criminal Justice Act (CJA), see: Guide, Vol 7A, § 210.40.

Last substantive revision (Transmittal GR-17) January 20, 2010
Last revised (minor technical changes) July 6, 2016